29 magic lamp carrying warriors showed up to contend for treasure
in the 2002 tournament. Seven of these had never played the game
previously. The tournament was continuous, so winners from the
preliminary round went to the two semifinals and later the final
in about six hours of continuous play (with breaks between rounds,
natch). In the preliminary, there were six tables of four and
one of five players. The seven winners plus one runnerup manned
two semifinals of four. Two from each semifinal advanced.
Since this was listed as a Coached event, players were allowed
to participate who had never played before. It takes about ten
minutes to learn the game, and the game doesn't require learned
strategies, so having previous experience is not necessary to
enjoy the game immediately. This also allows anyone with an opening
in their schedule on Thursday evening to drop by and participate.
Hopefully we can attract at least 32 contestants in the future
so that we can expand to four semifinals. One note, there were
just six players who brought a copy of the game, so with my copy
there was barely enough to go around.
Ties are broken by the number of scroll artifacts held. In the
preliminaries there was one table with three players tied with
seven artifacts each. Chaka had two scrolls to win the tie-breaker.
Bill Burch had one scroll to take second. In another preliminary,
all four players had six artifacts, a most unusual result. Bob
Runnicles was the only one of this group with two scrolls to
take the semifinal spot. There were no ties on the other five
tables, which meant that Bill Burch also advanced as the runnerup
who tied at his table with the greatest number of artifacts among
all runnerup ties.
One semifinal was the
tale of the camel. The camel designates who goes first and who
wins ties. Alfred Wong, who had done very well in his preliminary
match, kept losing ties in the semifinal, time after time, often
to Rob Kilroy and often when an artifact was on the line. It
is possible to use artifacts to help overcome the camel tiebreaker,
but this would require that you secure at least one artifact,
which Alfred was unable to do. Rob Kilroy and Mike Wojke advanced.
The other semifinal was the tale of the comeback. Jeff Mullet
did not earn an artifact in either of the first two rounds, which
meant that two of his opponents had three artifacts and one had
two while he had zero. On the final round Bill Burch played a
magic card which removed his token and John Kilbride's at the
same time. This left no tokens on that artifact space. Jeff took
advantage, playing a magic carpet to purchase the artifact for
three treasure. Along with his artifact surge in the late rounds,
this coup allowed Jeff to tie Bill for second place, and take
the tiebreaker two scrolls to one. Had Bill not played the magic
card, John, who was already in first would have taken the artifact
and Bill would have had a clear second.
The final was an exercise in the use of resources. In the first
two rounds, the palace guard was a higher number than all other
tokens on that space, taking treasure away when it was most needed.
Rob Kilroy proved to be the master of using limited resources,
patiently getting just enough treasure and bidding on exactly
two artifacts each round. On the first and third rounds he outbid
his opponents for two artifacts, and managed one in each other
round. Eight artifacts total gave him a clear first. John and
Mike, battling for second, each had two scrolls among six artifacts.
The final tiebreaker is the amount of treasure. After one additional
round for the lone remaining artifact (for which Jeff paid 16
treasure!) Mike had 11 treasure remaining to nine for John.
Congratulations to all winners and participants. I look forward
to seeing you again in a year.
Jessica Finkeldey of Cincinnatti, OH proved to be the best of
20 little Aladdin players. She was followed in order by